Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

“But They Said It Was Secure!”— Pell Center Hosts Communication Workshop for Executives and IT Professionals

Newport, RI — Nearly 30 senior leaders and IT professionals from the private and public sectors gathered at the Pell Center on February 11, 2014 to participate in a two-hours in depth cybersecurity workshop. The event was part of the ongoing Rhode Island Corporate Cybersecurity Initiative, and it offered participants a unique opportunity to work with the challenges of decision-making and communication between senior leaders and IT professionals.

The focus of the workshop was indeed the often missing link in cybersecurity—plain English communication between IT people and the executives, whose responsibility is to protect company assets and reputation. Protecting companies’ digital investment and sensitive information from cyber threats, mitigating cyber intrusions, and recover from breaches can be quite challenging. These issues can be exacerbated by corporate leaders who treat cybersecurity as an isolated “IT problem” best left to their already overwhelmed IT departments and do not know what the right questions to ask are, but also by IT professionals who are not able to simplify highly technical topics and prioritize security concerns that require board-level attention.

Subject-matter experts April Lorenzen and Nat Kopcyk from Dissect Cyber led the conversation and various group exercises and activities on some of the most pressing cybersecurity topics, such as network security and disaster recovery. Participants learned how to use verbal cues and basic questions to help them better define the problem at hand, evaluate risks, costs, and benefits of different optional solutions, express legitimate concerns on both the managerial and IT side, and ultimately make the best decisions for their organization. The workshop emphasized the importance of concise and effective communication between management and IT levels, but also of regularly updated backups, security policies, risk assessments, third-party vendors’ audits, business continuity and resiliency plans.

Participants came away with a better idea of how to infuse a stronger culture of security, proof, and transparency into the protection of their organization’s sensitive information and digital assets.

For additional information on the Rhode Island Corporate Cybersecurity Initiative, contact [email protected].

Pell Center cybersecurity workshop teaches senior leaders and IT professionals how to improve their communication

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